TEHRAN (FNA)- The United States and its United Kingdom puppet are taking extraordinary measures to stop further publishing of the Snowden leaks. Reporting about these actions is well covered in many European countries but seemingly suppressed in one of them.
On August 19, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, who is one of the main journalists covering the NSA spying story, was detained in London-Heathrow on “terrorism” charges because he was thought to be carrying files from the Snowden collection. All his electronic equipment was confiscated. The United States government was “informed” about this before it happened.
But even more extraordinary than this detention are the threats and actions the UK government is taking against The Guardian as its editor, Alan Rusbridger, now explains:
A little over two months ago I was contacted by a very senior government official claiming to represent the views of the prime minister. There followed two meetings in which he demanded the return or destruction of all the material we were working on. The tone was steely, if cordial, but there was an implicit threat that others within government and Whitehall favoured a far more draconian approach.
The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.” There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”
During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian’s reporting through a legal route – by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government’s intention. Prior restraint, near impossible in the US, was now explicitly and imminently on the table in the UK. …
And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. “We can call off the black helicopters,” joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
Destroying hard drives of a media company containing files that the government does not want to see published is an incredible, (though totally useless), attack on the freedom of the press.One would have expected that other British media would be up in arms over such an attack. The German media are. The news of British agents destroying Guardian harddrives is front page news in Germany and other countries. It is currently top news of Der Spiegel (screenshot), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (screenshot) and Sueddeutsche Zeitung (screenshot). It is front page covered at Bild (screenshot) and other German media.
The detention and the Guardian raid are also covered on the front page of the New York Times and it is the most popular story at the Washington Post website.
But in the United Kingdom there is nothing like that. There is nothing about the attack on the Guardian on the front pages of the London Times (screenshot), the Independent (screenshot), the Telegraph (screenshot), the Daily Mail (screenshot) and the BBC (screenshot). (All screenshots were taken during the last half hour.)
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” – “Who watches the guardians” is given a whole new meaning here. The British press in its 4th estate role should scrutinize the actions of the British governments. But it is not even able to watch out for one for its own.
How can this be? How come that the British media are not covering this attack on their freedom while the German media have all out coverage of it? Why is this censored and by whom? Why is the Guardian editor blogging this issue on the Guardians “Comment is free” section and not reporting it as general news? Why and how is this censored in the UK and by whom?
This article originally appeared on the Moon of Alabama
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